Power of Church based in Christ

Based on divine authority

Empowered by faithful- Rooted in obedience

Though outsiders may praise the Church for the wisdom of its founder, the real source of the Church's power is rooted in the Savior, said Elder V. Dallas Merrell.

Speaking in the Saturday afternoon session, Elder Merrell, who was called to the Seventy last June, noted that a Jewish religious scholar, Dr. Harold Bloom, praised Joseph Smith for his "uncanny knowing precisely what was needful for the inauguration of a new faith."

While appreciative of Dr. Bloom's conclusions, Elder Merrell added his own perspective of "why the true character and power of this work transcends the genius of any man."

"In the first place," he said, "the power of the Church is based on divine authority." The First Vision of Joseph Smith, and subsequent bestowal of power upon him and his successors leaves "no question about whose work this is and for whom we labor."

Second, "Immense power comes from our divinely mandated purpose. . . . Our purpose is to invite all people to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him. . . . The Church is a divine instrument to help us qualify for eternal life, which is life with God. That is our sacred purpose which shapes everything about the Lord's kingdom."

Third, "The power of the Church is also related to its essential work . . . to teach correct doctrine and principles of the gospel, and to provide all human kind with saving ordinances so that they will receive `all the Father hath.'

"Indeed, the Church is establishing an expansive family that includes every race, creed, tongue and gender, the poor and needy, sinners and saints, the living and the dead in the merciful, just, and fair operations of God's plan for all His children."

Fourth, "We are empowered by faithful Latter-day Saints who are disciples of Jesus Christ, not just members of the Church.

"The power of the Church is based profoundly on discipleship rooted in individual faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."

Fifth, "The strength of the Church is also rooted in obedience to the principle of stewardship." Members acknowledge that "all we possess belongs to God . . . and we come as one, in common, to bring our offerings of tithes, time and talents for building the kingdom of God."

Sixth, "The source of the Church's power involves continuous improvement . . . individually, and collectively. . . . We correlate, correct, and realign, bringing all truth we are capable of receiving to harmonize our lives and the leadership and organization of this work with the teachings and perfect example of our leader, Jesus Christ."

Elder Merrell emphasized the Church will continue to progress because it is "The Church of Jesus Christ."

"We rejoice that the future belongs to our Master who created this world, provided the Plan of Salvation, and established this Church."

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